Work on the Louvre Abu Dhabi project is expected to start in the first half of 2009, it has been announced.
The start date for the mega tourism development in the UAE capital was revealed as project chiefs announced that Paris-based architects Nathalie Criniere had been chosen to design the exhibition space inside the building.
Agence France-Museums, in partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), awarded the contract for one of the five major institutions being planned for Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island Cultural District.
Nathalie Crinière was awarded the project after a competition among six invited design firms. In addition to conceiving the design of the permanent collection galleries and integrating it with the architectural design by Jean Nouvel, Nathalie Crinière will develop a graphic identity for the Louvre Abu Dhabi and design the lighting, curatorial and directional signage, and multimedia elements.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is being developed through a 30-year accord between the governments of France and Abu Dhabi and is scheduled to open in 2012/2013. It will present important archeological artefacts and major works of fine arts and decorative arts from cultures around the world and from all historic periods.
“In partnership with the French government and Agence France-Museums, we are moving steadily forward in realising the Louvre Abu Dhabi,” said Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon al-Nahyan, chairman of TDIC. “We look forward to continuing this momentum and breaking ground for the museum in the first half of 2009,” he added.
The 24,000 square metre museum will include 6,000 square metres of galleries devoted to permanent installations and 2,000 square metres reserved for temporary exhibitions.
The exhibitions in the permanent galleries will be drawn from the collections of the Louvre and other eminent French public museums and cultural institutions, including Centre Pompidou, Château de Versailles, Musée d’Orsay, Musée Rodin and Bibliothèque Nationale de France.